COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 18th January, 2012.
Present: Councillor Mrs. M. Kelly Owen (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. J.E. Charles (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. S.M. Bagstaff, Ms. B.E. Brooks, R.F. Curtis, C.P.J. Elmore, N.P. Hodges, H.J.W. James, R.L. Traherne and E.T. Williams.
Representatives of Town and Community Councils: Councillor L. Taylor (Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council), Councillor E. Hacker (Llantwit Major Town Council), Councillor Mrs. J.R. Baker (Penarth Town Council), Councillor Mrs. M. Hayley (Dinas Powys Community Council), Councillor Mrs. S.A. Wilson (Ewenny Community Council), Councillor M. Hurst (Llandow Community Council), Councillor J. Teague (Llanfair Community Council), Councillor C. Tatton (Pendoylan Community Council), Councillor Mrs. T. Evans (Peterston Super Ely Community Council), Councillor S. Haines (St. Athan Community Council), Councillor A. Wilson (St. Brides Major Community Council), Councillor Mrs G. Rawson (St. Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council), Councillor I. Moody (Wenvoe Community Council) and Councillors P.M. Ball and P.J. Thomas (Wick Community Council).
794 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE -
These were received from Councillors R.J. Bertin, A.M. Ernest and Mrs. V.M. Hartrey (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Councillor P. King (Llandough Community Council), Councillor L. Scaglioni (Sully Community Council), Councillor P. Castle (Welsh St. Donats Community Council) and Councillor B. Williams (Wenvoe Community Council).
795 MINUTES -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd November, 2011 be accepted as a correct record.
796 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST -
No declarations were received.
797 POLICE MATTERS -
Inspector Chris Owen informed the Committee of various matters as detailed below :
Youth annoyance incidents in the Dyfan Ward, three young people had been responsible and the local PSCO had dealt with the matter.
Illtyd ward the local police officer had met with Head teachers of local schools and introduced the Green Code Scheme.
Baruc and other wards had been patrolled on a regular basis and in particular a seizure of £4,000 of money and illegal drugs had been made with warrants being executed. Road safety activities were also taking place in these areas and to date two people had been arrested and disqualified from driving having no insurance. Speeding drivers were also being targeted.
17 Fixed Penalty Notices for parking had been issued in the Barry area and 70 issued in Penarth.
A burglary at a local chemist in Dinas Powys had resulted in an arrest.
An operation at Culverhouse Cross had taken place between the dates 6th to 31st December, 2011 where eight recordable crimes had been reported with a total of 16 incidents having taken place. This had been a considerable reduction on previous years.
He then referred to the issue of loose horses with some being reported as deceased and some regularly escaping onto the road. The Police in working with the Local authority had targeted the people who they believed owned the horses and two Fixed Penalty tickets had been issued. The Chairman referred to incidents in Sully and asked whether these were being addressed. Inspector Owen stated that although there was no simple solution, he was aware the individuals involved were moving the horses from the area and that in general the local authority was working with the police for long term solutions which he believed would come to fruition in the not too distant future and that he would report back to the Committee on the matter.
Following a question from Councillor Curtis the Police officer reported on an incident that had taken place at Pencoedtre allotments with regard to the destruction of a number of animals and he advised that some of the offenders that had been arrested, were currently on bail but that there were a number of forensic issues which the police were awaiting feedback on. The age range of the perpetrators was between 15 and 24 years of age.
A general discussion took place in respect of parking issues in the Vale which was followed by a request that a report be presented to a future meeting of the Committee regarding the Police force decision to withdraw the Traffic Warden service in the area. Cllr H J W James (also Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation) advised that the Council was currently in discussions with Bridgend County Borough Council in respect of this issue.
Having considered the above it was
(1) T H A T Inspector Owen be thanked for his most informative presentation and congratulations be extended to the force on the efforts being made to reduce crime around the Vale of Glamorgan.
(2) T H A T the Committee receive update reports at a future meeting on the arrangements for parking enforcement and the procedures to be put in place in relation to loose horses, around the Vale of Glamorgan.
798 YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE -
Mark Bishop, Assistant Team Manager from the Youth Offending Service provided the Committee with an overview of the restorative justice service that was provided within the Vale of Glamorgan.
Mr. Bishop advised Members that the restorative justice scheme had been initially invented as a concept in New Zealand as a way to manage the feelings of victims and to provide them with the opportunity to directly engage with their offender. Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 this scheme had been introduced in the UK to manage young peoples offending behaviour. The Youth Offending Service facilitates the dialogue between the young offender and the victim with the key stakeholders within the process being the victim, the young offender and the community on the basis that when young people offend this also affects the community.
The negative impacts of offending were referred to as:
the fear that the young person would offend again
the lack of confidence in the criminal justice system
it can damage relationships and the
negative views of young people in general.
The key legislation supporting the scheme were the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which had a major focus on reparation, the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 where referral orders and the setting up of community panels emerged and the Ministry of Justice Green Paper - Breaking the Cycle 2011 which allowed the integration of restorative justice across the criminal justice service.
The overall focus being:
providing young people with the consequences of their offending for themselves, their families, their victims and their communities
encouraging reparation to victims by young people who offend
victims should be at the heart of the criminal justice system and their views and opinions should be sought at all times.
The benefits of the restorative justice service identified under research related to:
victims acknowledgement of the harm caused
something to put things right
reassurance that the offence would not be repeated
the opportunity to hear the young persons explanation of the offence
to ask the young person questions and express their own views and feelings about what happened
to be listened to with respect.
It was accomplished via direct or face to face meetings, mediation, restorative conferences or family group conferences and indirectly via letters of apology, the use of the Youth Offender Panel, direct reparation to the victim, community reparation following victim consultation and neighbourhood resolution panels.
Mr. Bishop pointed out that the national standards for youth justice under the Victim Code of Conduct clearly stated that the involvement of victims of crime must always be entirely voluntary. The victims must never be asked to do anything that was primarily to the benefit of the offender. He referred to the fact that victims like to know if they were targeted in the first place and have the ability to ask the offender questions like, why did you do it, am I going to be safe in the future and are you going to do it again? Very often the victim wanted to ensure that the young offender was fully aware of what the crime had done to them with the expectation being usually to receive an apology from the offender.
In responding to the Chairman’s question in relation to figures for the service, the team manager advised that since the service had been set up there had been a reduction of first time entrants to the youth service of over 70% and with 60% of prolific offenders meeting their victims face to face.
Following the presentation it was
AGREED - T H AT Mr. Bishop be thanked for an interesting presentation and that the service be wished every success for the future.
799 FIRE SERVICE STATISTICS -
The Fire Service statistics for Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth for the period April to November 2011 were presented to Members for information.
In considering the performance figures reference was made to home fire safety checks with a request that the Fire Authority be asked to confirm whether the home fire safety checks and the fitting of free smoke alarms was still available free of charge.
The Member from Dinas Powys asked why there was no specific information for Dinas Powys and was advised that the information was recorded in conjunction with the four fire station sector areas.
It was subsequently
AGREED - T H A T the Fire Service statistics as detailed in the report be noted and that the information as requested above be forwarded to all Members of the Community Liaison Committee when received.
The Chairman concluded the meeting by thanking all present for their attendance and contributions to the debate.